Vol. 2 (Nuclear Blast)
by Scott Hefflon
It took me a while to realize why I wanted to wash after listening to this… I mean, I like some of the bands here, but as I quickly flipped through the tracks, my attention drifted, to say the least. Then I realized: This is a compilation of the new generation’s lighter-waving power ballads. Oh, now I get it. Rinse and dry and place this CD in the bags to go to the used CD store. I lived through the ’80s as fluffy-haired men in tight clothing sung sappy songs to young girls they’d get arrested for touching (not that it stopped them from doing so), and this here’s 16 examples of the same trite, sleepy crap a decade later.
You can compare ’89’s “18 and Life” by Skid Row and ’91’s “To Be with You” by Mr. Big (both licensed from Atlantic and both sounding really thin and worse than usual here) with songs by more current power/heavy metallers like Stratovarious, Iced Earth, Helloween, Steel Prophet and new Goth/dreary metal by Lacrimosa, To/Die/For and Love Like Blood. Main difference, to these ears, is that aside from being more ponderous and thoughtful than “I love you, baby,” these “slow dance songs” just don’t have what it takes to topple any of the hated (yet secretly and grudgingly liked) songs by Jon Bon Jovi. OK, so high school DJs aren’t about to replace whatever the hell they play (I’m scared to even think about it), but that’s probably not the point. But I don’t know what is, cuz I do like some of these bands and still hate the selections. Whatever theme this has, I hate. Some bands I wanna look into more thoroughly, and now I know what song to skip over when I get the full-length. Other warbling-voiced shag-heads and eyeliner-smearing tearjerkoffs: Sinner, Nightwish, Blind Guardian, Sonata Artica, Gotthard, Bonfire, Macbeth. Watch for this great offer in a late-night informercial…